Photojournalist targeted with missile

Context of the story

Mohammed Ghalib Al-Qadasi

Time of violation: 22/1/2018

Place of violation: Taiz

Type of violation: killing

Perpetrator of the violation: Houthi group “Ansar Allah”

Mohammed Al -Qadasi managed to document the remains of the victims of the missile shelling launched by the Houthi group in early 2018, but Al -Qadasi himself and before providing his colleagues – who work in foreign and local media- with the video, was converted into charred remains with another shelling after hours.

This happened on January 22, 2018, while Mohammed Ghalib Al -Qadasi, 30, was in Al -Khayami district, Al -Maafer area, south of Taiz Governorate, to perform a press mission. In addition to his job as a photographer of a local channel, Al -Qadasi was providing workers in foreign and local media with the materials he collected here and there.

On that day, Al -Qadasi, was accompanied by Belqees Chanel reporter Fawaz Al Hammadi , to cover a festival held by the Special Security Forces on the occasion of the graduation of a new batch of its affiliates, but the sound of explosions ended the event and separated the celebrations, as Al -Hammadi confirms in his testimony to the Free Media Center for Investigative Press:

“We heard a loud explosion near the place of the festival “, after that, the rest of the celebration was canceled, the soldiers spread out and the guests dispersed: “When we left the institute, we heard screams and a distress call from citizens in the village next to the technical institute. People were talking about rockets falling on the village, killing and wounding a number of innocent civilians.”

With the end of the military festival of the government-affiliated forces, the intensive bombardment launched by the Houthi group on the area finished. After that photographers Mohammed Al-Qadasi and Fawaz Al-Hammadi set out to document the massacre of a number of innocent civilians who were sitting in front of their house in the village: “We found the remains of the dead victims.” Al-Hammadi said, “The rocket fell directly on them. The scene was very shocking.”

Journalist Mohammed Maresh, who was on his way to the area from Aden, learned of the news of the massacre from Bashir Aqlan, the former reporter of Russia Today. Then Maresh communicated with Mohammed Al -Qadasi to get materials to provided to Reuters, according to his testimony, which we documented at the Free Media Center. Al -Qadasi told him that he left the memory disk with one of the guards of the Technical Institute gate, and asked him to wait there near the institute.

Mohammed Al-Qadasi came and went to fetch the memory from the gate, says Marsh: «In the meantime we heard a sound of whistling and a big explosion, the car flew up and came back, the place was filled with dust and smoke, I did not know what happened, I tried to get down through the door it did not open, a concrete pillar entered through the car window» After that, Maresh adds: «We saw Bashir with blood coming out of his ears. It was a tragedy.”

In those moments, Maresh had no idea about the situation of Mohammed Al -Qadasi, and this is why he went to take Bashir by a citizen car to Al -Safwa Hospital in the city of Taiz.

According to the technical analysis we conducted at Free Media Center and the testimonies we documented, the Houthi group fired a number of rockets and missiles, the rockets were repeated more than once that day, even after the end of the special forces festival and the massacre that happened to civilians,  according to Fawaz Al -Hammadi, the Houthis knew that “journalists and photographers come to the area to document the crime, and therefore, deliberately targeted them for the second and third missiles.” “One of these rockets fell on the gate of the Technical Institute, I lost consciousness and woke up soon after,” confirms the Belqees reporter.

Citizens took Mohammed Al-Qadasi to Khalifa General Hospital in the city of Turbah. Fawaz arrived at the hospital, and they told him that his colleague photographer is in the morgue: «His body was charred, and his facial features changed» «It was a very painful moment of shock that I can never forget it».

*Free Media for investigative journalism calls on fellow journalists, activists and human rights organizations to advocate for the cases of Yemeni journalists and activists who have been subjected to violations in the past years, and to work to activate justice and hold the perpetrators of these violations accountable


This brief summary is part of the “For the Truth” project, within which an in-depth report on the situation will be published during the current year 2024.